Statins may Relieve Macular Degeneration

February 6, 2016

High doses of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs — medicines such as Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor — may help people with a common eye disease called macular degeneration, a small study suggests.

In the early stage clinical trial, a team from Harvard Medical School assessed the effects of statin treatment in people with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

They found that intensive doses of statins carry the potential for clearing up the lipid [fat] debris that can lead to vision impairment in a subset of patients with macular degeneration. Not all cases of dry AMD are the exactly the same, and their findings suggest that if statins are going to help, they will be most effective when prescribed at high dosages in patients with an accumulation of soft, lipid material.

Not everyone can tolerate statins. Many develop muscle cramps.

For more info:

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/news/20160204/high-dose-statins-may-ease-macular-degeneration-for-some

http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/61321


New technology is helping people with vision impairments see

January 30, 2016

The digitalized glasses help some people with low vision,see.
The Sight Center of Northwest Ohio hosted demonstrations of the new glasses today.

The glasses are hands-free, mobile and they’re customized to each person’s needs. They are for people with visual impairments like macular degeneration.The glasses help with things like reading as well as using laptops and phones.

esight 2

Jill Hofbauer has Stargardt’s Disease, a form of macular degeneration. Today, she put on a pair of eSight glasses and things came into focus. She was able to read a menu without having it up close to her face and she read the eye chart much further down than usual, “When I was doing the number charts and they showed me how far down the chart I got, I was amazed. Without the glasses I would have been taxed to see that information.”

Here’s how the glasses work. A camera records high definition video.
The video is then presented on two screens in the headset.
eSight users carry a small, lightweight processing controller that adjusts every pixel of the video in real time. Hugh Montgomery is with the company,”We can add zoom, we can add contrast. It does auto focus so I am basically watching a video of my life when i use the glasses.”

It is NOT cheap. The system goes for $15,000. That is the cost of a nice second hand car. How much is vision worth?

For more info:

http://www.13abc.com/home/headlines/New-technology-is-helping-people-with-vision-impairments-see-366614781.html

http://www.esighteyewear.com/


The Dell Chromebook 13

January 25, 2016

Computers are not limited to the latest Apple creation. Google makes a line of Chromebooks that are a cross between a laptop and a tablet. Dell has just introduced the Model 13 which is much faster to use and respond. Here is one review.

For many of us who have been using Chromebooks for some time now- I always found the first generation devices

were rather under-powered and lagged in performance. But this is changing rapidly with new Chromebooks that are sporting Intel processors. With Dell’s release of the Dell Chromebook 13 the tides are changing and now educators and students can have access to devices that house much faster silicone. The Dell Chromebook that was provided for me for this review, the Dell Chromebook 13 sported an Intel i3 processor with 4 GB or RAM and 16 GB Solid State Drive with a 13.3 inch FHD Display and is priced at $529 on the Dell website. The Dell Chromebook 13 is made of carbon fiber finish with magnesium alloy that is easy to grip and gives the computer good protection from dings and bangs.
The Dell Chromebook 13 comes standard with a USB 3.0, a USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, MicroSD slot, Noble lock slot and a Stereo headphone and microphone combo jack and weighs in at 3.2 pounds. The keys are Chiclet style with back lighting and feel really good when typing. Most users will find the precision Touchpad with built-in glass integrated button extremely easy to use and will not find a need to carry a mouse.
The Dell Chromebook 13 supports Bluetooth 4.0 LE, making easy to connect your computer to external devices that support the latest Bluetooth standard for Low Energy. Pairing one of my Logitech Bluetooth mice took just seconds and was very easy to accomplish.
The Dell Chromebook 13 comes with Dell’s 720p webcam which is pretty standard across most of the Chromebooks which should work well with Google Hangouts or Skype.

 

There are many apps available for the low-visioned.

http://www.androidauthority.com/best-android-apps-visually-impaired-blind-97471/

http://www.apps4android.org/?p=4107

https://andreashead.wikispaces.com/Google+Chrome++Apps+for+Accessibility

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps

Read the tips at andreashead before going to the Chrome Store.

For more info:

http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/2016/01/review-of-dell-chromebook-13-sleek.html

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/chromebook-13-7310/pd


Macular Degeneration Patients See Wisdom of Seeing Two Types of Doctors

January 24, 2016

This February, which is designated Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, also marks a shift in best practices for treating the vision-robbing disease. A growing number of patients, their families and healthcare providers see great value in choosing two different doctors to focus on different aspects of the disease. In addition to one doctor to treat the medical condition causing loss of vision, another helps manage the effects permanent vision loss has on lives.

According to Richard Shuldiner, OD, founder of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, a medical team for a macular degeneration patient ideally includes both a retinologist, (an ophthalmologist with advanced training in retinal diseases) to provide expert medical treatment and monitoring of AMD, as well as a low vision specialist, a licensed doctor of optometry or ophthalmology who has received advanced training in helping manage the visual issues surrounding macular degeneration.

For more info:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/macular-degeneration-patients-see-wisdom-of-seeing-two-types-of-doctors-300206876.html


Is Cataract Surgery Safe for Patients With Wet AMD?

January 24, 2016

The following is from Amer Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015;160:487-492.e1

This retrospective cohort study examined patients with active wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who underwent cataract surgery.

The study found no significant difference in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) between the two groups during the presurgery portion of the study. After cataract surgery, the surgical group had a significant improvement in BCVA compared with the nonsurgical group.

This study concludes that patients with stable disease may be candidates for cataract extraction. They probably will not have a worse outcome and, in fact, will have improved BCVA after surgery.

The authors expressed caution in adopting their findings for all wet AMD patients. Cataract extraction ought to be limited only to patients with stable disease—a safe strategy considering that outcomes after cataract surgery in patients with wet AMD are still debatable.


Non-Invasive Therapy to Treat Wet Macular Degeneration

January 17, 2016

xR’s Emerging New Therapy to Treat Wet Macular Degeneration Non-Invasively

Treatment of the wet disease consists of uncomfortable and potentially dangerous anti-VEGF injections into the eye every 1 to 3 months for the life of the patient to preserve vision. VEGF drugs attack the abnormal blood vessels that cause the wet disease but, over time cause retinal degeneration.

xR, a leader in Epigenetic Health; the rapidly evolving evidence-based science that improves the activity and expression of your genetics, is making strides in the field of eye care to prevent and help treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Early results with dry disease indicate vision improvements, giving new hope to patients with this condition.

A patient with grossly distorted vision from wet macular degeneration received anti-VEGF injections every nine weeks for one year. The patient added xR Epigenetic Health to her overall health regimen and is now 20/20, without needing a single injection in the last six months. This result is one her retina doctor says happens “almost never.”

xR integrates genetic based therapy, bioidentical hormones, and nutrition to help the body naturally repair itself at the cellular level. “Epigenetic therapy has anti-VEGF properties because it turns off the genes that make VEGF,” said Brian Bakke PhD and chief science officer at xR. “Furthermore, epigenetic therapy has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which are known to help eyes with wet macular degeneration along with the ability to positively influence the activity of many genes that can help heal disease.”

 

Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/16/01/p6130420/xrs-emerging-new-therapy-to-treat-wet-macular-degeneration-non-invasive#ixzz3xXRVOzCF


LVATUG Stats

January 17, 2016

We just reviewed the WordPress statistics for this Low Vision Assistive Technology website.

We have had 60,000 views of our info since it was created about 5 years ago. That’s not bad for a print website addressing Low Vision.

We currently have 267 viewers from the US, spread across the country.

In addition, we have 215 more viewers from 40 more countries all around the world.

Between 400 and 450 of these 482 viewers read 700 to 1,100 articles every month.

We have posted over 700 articles to date.

We are still finding 5 to 10 new articles each month to share with our readership.

We are loyally committed to serving the Low Vision community throughout the world.

John Logan and Lauren Tappan


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